Philadelphia mayoral candidates want to hire more police officers, but that will be costly, says Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Tom Ferrick Jr. After four years, the cost of a new officer rise to close to $80,000 per year. To put 1,000 more officers on the streets will cost $60 million today and up to $80 million a year down the road. How much does it cost to move the perps through the justice system and find a place for them in prison? A lot.
If the arrests made by new cops result in just 2,000 more perps going to city jails each year, the city will have no choice but to build a new prison. Estimated construction cost: $70 million. Cost of housing those prisoners for one year in that new facility: about $64 million. The annual cost of new probation and parole officers to handle the increased case load would be about $7 million. The cost of adding new judges, staff and courtrooms to handle the influx? About $10 million a year. Ferrick says, “The way I add it up, for every dollar spent on a police officer, you incur an additional $1 in costs elsewhere in the system.” Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson says, “Traditional policing is not working. We locked up 74,000 people last year. We confiscated 6,000 guns and $140 million worth of drugs. If we put another 1,000 police officers out there, we’re just going to make more arrests.”